Work from home tips to face the Coronavirus threat
Over these last few weeks, the entire world has been affected by the new coronavirus, COVID-19 Coronavirus. Originating in Wuhan from the Hubei province in China, the coronavirus has disrupted the daily lives of people all around the globe, especially those in the Asian and European regions. The best way to reduce transmission of this virus is to limit your exposure to the outside world – but this is tough when you have a full-time job!
The high transmission rates of this new coronavirus are certainly a cause for concern, and more and more companies are transitioning towards work from home arrangements. However, such flexible or remote work arrangements are tough to implement, especially on such a large scale. In this article, we’ll go over how you can make it easier to implement work from home arrangements in your organization to avoid the spread of this disease.
1. Learn to trust your staff
No one benefits from micromanaging, even when you’re all in one office together. You hired your employees because you believed they were the best fit for the job – so let them prove it to you by showing you the results you need.
There are a few key factors when it comes to trusting your staff who work from home – the first is to focus on the results your employees produce and use that to evaluate their productivity levels. It’s already difficult to monitor what exactly your employees are doing when you’re all in one office, and it’s nearly impossible to do so when your staff are working from home! We’ll discuss this further in a following section, but looking at the quality of work your employees complete will definitely be the best way to measure their value when they are working from home.
The most important thing, however, is to ensure you have a good relationship with your employee! This will promote transparency and happy employees are better workers, after all.
If you’re interested in reading more about how to trust your employees who work from remote locations, check out this article.
2. Educate your employees on the importance of an optimised workspace
In the office, we all have our desks, chairs, laptops, desktops, printers, stationery, etc easily available. However, not everyone has all these things neatly organized at home! The first step in creating work from home arrangements is to ensure all your employees have the internet connection, hardware and software they require to complete their work at home.
It is equally important to have a workspace set apart from the rest of the house so that your staff are less likely to get distracted. Advise them to choose a workspace in the most private corner of their house, and educate them on the importance of having a neat, designated, organized workspace to improve productivity.
Alternatively, employees can choose to use a nearby coworking space if they are willing to take precautions such as wearing masks, limiting physical interaction with other people and washing their hands frequently. After all, a good Business Continuity plan includes splitting teams into multiple coworking spaces to reduce the risk of having the entire team fall sick at once as this could seriously impede workflow.
3. Use the right tools for communication and collaboration
When you work from home, you can’t just drop by your coworker’s desk to clarify something or ask for support on a project. Therefore, it is extremely important that there is a company-wide collaboration system, to allow for open lines of communication and help keep projects moving along. After all, there’s nothing more annoying than a project that has stalled due to one of the team members being uncontactable.
Slack or Basecamp are useful tools for simple communication as they are largely text-based and will keep everyone’s inboxes clutter-free. If audio or video calls are required, Hangout, Zoom or Skype are good applications. Zoom business accounts also automatically record calls, so you’ll never miss a single detail again!
When it comes to working on a project with your team, Google Drive is the best way for your entire team to simultaneously work on one file. Trello or Asana are good project management tools to track workflow and progress on each task and project. Both offer the option of creating to-do lists for each project which is extremely useful when multiple people are working on the same thing.
4. Focus on results rather than time spent
If someone can complete a task in 4 hours and someone else can complete it in 1 hour without compromising on quality, wouldn’t you rather have the faster worker as your employee? Looking at the amount of time an employee spends working isn’t a good measure of how talented or skilled they are. Instead, focus on the quality of their deliverables and let them manage their time on their own.
As communication is naturally slower when your staff are working from home, don’t waste precious time on micro-management. Instead, set clear objectives for your employees to meet and conduct regular reviews with them to ensure they are staying on track.
5. Fight the loneliness of working from home
When an entire department or company is in the office together, it promotes a sense of bonding amongst coworkers. Working from home can be quite isolating, especially for those who live alone. Make an effort to help your employees feel more like a team and less isolated.
You can do this by organizing regular update meetings via audio or video call. This will also ensure everyone is aware of what each other are currently working on or have completed. Also, take the time to talk about fun, casual topics with your staff to replace the regular office chats over a cup of coffee. Regardless of where your employees are from, if you make them feel included and part of a bigger team, they will be much happier and much more productive!
In conclusion, implementing work from home arrangements is certainly not an easy task, especially when it comes by surprise like with the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation. However, epidemics like this do occur and it is important to be prepared. Even if you don’t currently offer work from home arrangements, it’s best to have a Business Continuity plan just in case you need to use it! You should also consider the fact that you may need your employees to work from home on occasion, and hire people you can trust to do so.
If you’re interested in learning more about remote working or want to come up with a personalized work from home plan for your office, contact us at FLYDESK and let us take care of the details for you.